7 Simple Ways to Live a More Positive Life
My mom taught me to believe in the power of positive thinking. Even to this day, she’ll remind me to “be positive” and “stop worrying about everything.” For the most part, I’m doing ok. I try to live my life with the “glass half full” viewpoint, but it can be a struggle some days! Stress and negative thinking can creep up on me and before I know it I’m feeling bad about myself. Most times, though, I can catch myself and mentally remind myself that I need to look at my circumstances from a different perspective.
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One of my all-time favourite quotes is by author, Wayne Dyer: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” It may seem simple, but it’s very true. Perspective is everything. I used to worry and stress about every little thing no matter how small. It didn’t change anything and only made me feel worse. I want to be healthy and happy and I think that starts from within us with the desire to live a more positive life.
It’s amazing how a few small changes can make a big impact on our quality of life. Here are seven simple things that I do that help me to live a happier, healthier life:
1. Self-pep talk. Talking to yourself isn’t crazy at all. In fact, I find my internal dialogue can make a big difference in how I feel. When I’m down and sad, I remind myself of the good things in life and see if there’s a way I can look at the situation in a more positive light. It can make me feel 100 times better inside and is the boost I need to get me through whatever stressful situation I’m facing at the moment.
2. Laugh often. They say that laughter is the best medicine and they’re right! Not only does laughing feel good, but it also relaxes your body and releases built-up tension. If you’re feeling stressed, pick up a funny book or watch a comedy. I often read humour blogs and find myself laughing so hard I’m crying. It feels amazing and I notice that whatever was bothering me before, doesn’t seem as bad.
3. Be present. This advice may seem easy, but it takes some effort for me anyways! Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future only serves to cause more stress. I try to live in the moment and focus on my surroundings. You can’t change the past and there’s no point in focusing on something that hasn’t happened (and may never happen) so why worry about it?
4. Wake up early. I used to be really bad for hitting the snooze button over and over on my alarm and getting up at the very last possible moment. I’d wake up in a mad rush to get myself and everyone ready and my day would start out with stress. I find when I go to bed a little earlier, I can get up in the morning much easier and I can start my day at a leisurely pace. For me, this simple change made a huge impact on my stress levels. I cherish my time alone in the early morning when everything is calm and quiet.
5. Exercise. I love going for walks in our neighbourhood and I practice “being present” by taking in my surroundings. Exercise also releases endorphins that make us “feel good” and it’s also good for our mind, body and soul. I find even a quick walk around the block makes me feel better and helps burn off some of the stressful energy I’m holding onto.
6. Practice gratitude. When times are tough, remember the good in your life. Ask yourself what you have to be thankful for. Some suggest keeping a Gratitude Journal and writing down what is positive in your life and then looking at that list when you are feeling negative emotions. For me, I just do my self-pep talks and list out what I’m grateful for in my head or out loud if no one is around.
7. Take care of yourself. I notice when I look good, I feel good. I make a little effort each day to put a little makeup on and wear some of my favourite jewelry. I also make an effort to eat healthy foods and get an adequate amount of sleep each night. We only have one body so take care of it as best you can!
It’s an ongoing effort to reduce stress and stay positive and it’s something I work on every single day. However, I find that these small changes make a big difference in how I look, feel and think about my life and in turn, I feel happier inside. What are some of the things you do to help stay positive and reduce your stress?
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